Cardiff (Caerdydd) – The Capital City Of Wales, Top Summer Destination!
Cardiff or Caerdydd in Welsh is the capital city of Wales. The city is situated in the county of Glamorgan and used to be a small traditional town until the 19th century when it started to rapidly grow due to the sudden influx of industry in the area.
Cardiff or Caerdydd in Welsh is the capital city of Wales. The city is situated in the county of Glamorgan and it used to be a small traditional town up until the 19th century when it started to rapidly grow due to the sudden influx of industry in the area. At this point in time Cardiff became the main port in the region exporting coal. In the year 1905 Cardiff officially became a city and exactly 50 years later, in 1955, it was proclaimed the capital of Wales. The port here is known as Tiger Bay and it used to be very busy for a long period of time. Today, the port of Cardiff is not so popular for transport, but is very much appreciated by people all over the world as an art, entertainment and nightlife location.
The name of the city comes from the English pronunciation of the Welsh name “Caerdydd”. The origin of the name is not known, there being several hypotheses. “Caer” is the Welsh word for castle, but there is no explanation for what “dydd” could be standing for. Some people believe that this term was a corruption of the term “Taff”, which is the name of the river that crosses the city. In this case, the name “Cardiff” would actually mean “the castle on the river Taff”. However, modern researchers have serious doubts about this explanation, preferring to concentrate more on the Latin influence over the term. It is known that the Roman Emperor Antonius Didius built a fortress in Cardiff, thus they believe that it is most likely that the name of the city refers to the castle of Antonius Didius. Whatever the true origin of the name may be, the fact is that a beautiful 2000 year old Norman castle still exists in Cardiff and it would be a shame to miss visiting it while in the city.
One of the most popular city icons is the Cardiff professional football team – Cardiff City F.C. There are also other teams that bring fame to the city, such as the Cardiff Blues (the regional rugby team) and the Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey team.
Besides the Norman castle, Cardiff also hosts the National Assembly for Wales, St. David’s Concert Hall (one of the most popular concert venues in Britain due to its many productions), the National Museum and many more. One of the most interesting places in Cardiff is Caroline Street, the third oldest street in the city. This street is the main link between two of Cardiff’s busiest streets. On Caroline Street you can find a great variety of stores and shops and recently it seems to have become the home of chip and kebab eateries! Thus, the street became to be referred as the Chip Row or the Chip Alley. During the last few years the street became populated with new luxuriant flats and has been completely refurbished.
Cardiff – The Place Packs Some Of The Largest Summer Outdoor Festivals In UK!
Annual festivals and events in Cardiff are plentiful in this historical and cultural fascinating Wales capital city. Cardiff has grown from a small settlement to a city which today diversifies between the old and the new. Regeneration of the Cardiff Bay area has created a trendy section with top-class hotels, apartments, restaurants, bars, comedy clubs, galleries, attractions for children, fascinating architecture from many different eras, and stylish shopping.
Annual festivals in and around the city centre and Cardiff Bay at the southern point of the city are extensive, lively, and exciting. There are also parades, carnivals, street fairs, and many sporting events at the new Athletics Stadium in the Cardiff International Sports Village. The tourist information office together with local newspapers and magazines are excellent sources of complete information on the current festivities.
The BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World
The event is held every other June and is an important event because it has an audience of many millions throughout the world who watch this competition that attracts approximately 200 singers from 50 countries.
The Cardiff Festival
The Cardiff Festival is a summer-long celebration showcasing the best in sports event, theater, live music, fun fair and entertainment for the youth. The festival, established 21 years ago, is organized and presented by the Cardiff Council. The festival is composed of smaller festivals that run from July to August of each year. Some of the more popular festivals that people take part in are the Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival, WOW on the Waterfront, Tesco Children’s Festival, Admiral Cardiff Big Weekend, Welsh Proms and the Mermaid Quay Cardiff Harbour Festival and the MAS Carnival.
Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival
The Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival are held at Cardiff Bay. This festival puts the spotlight on traditional Welsh cuisine. Lavabread, for example, is a favorite offering at the festival and is made of seaweed. Food and drink from all over the globe are offered as well. This festival offers a variety of choices to satisfy even the most discriminating food connoisseur.
WOW on the Waterfront
WOW on the Waterfront is a new addition to the festival, introduced only in 2007. It is an open air show that features outstanding street theatrical performances from French street theater company Plasticiens Volants.
Tesco Children’s Festival
The Cardiff Festival also has something to offer to the youth and children through the Tesco Children’s Festival held at Cooper’s Field located behind Cardiff Castle. This is a two-day event that features fun activities such as interactive workshops, circus shows, sports and music events and walkabout characters. Other popular events are the Sheep Show and a mountain biking event.
Admiral Cardiff Big Weekend
The Cardiff Big Weekend is the grand finale of the festival and it features an extravaganza that includes a fireworks display, free music concerts, UK’s largest traveling funfair and the MAS Carnival. The live music performances run for three days and are held at Admiral Stage. The traveling fun fair offers families fun activities that are sure to delight children and adults alike. Families can head to the Civic Center to have fun at the thrilling rides and family-oriented activities. The MAS Carnival showcases elaborately designed costumes, dazzling and colorful masks and headpieces and other carnival spectacles like giant puppets.
The Lloyds TSB Welsh Proms is a grand celebration that has featured orchestral symphony concerts, a World Music Prom, concerts for the youth and proms featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Cardiff Philharmonic. Other activities for the 2008 festival include the Children’s Prom, Romantic Favorites Prom, Russian Ballet Prom, Grand Classics Prom and the Organ Prom to name a few.
Mermaid Quay Cardiff Harbour Festival
The Mermaid Quay Cardiff Harbour Festival is a family-oriented celebration revolving around a nautical theme. Visitors can enjoy fun-filled entertainment that includes water-based activities, workshops, nautical music and a pirate costume competition.
Other events are the Everyman Open-Air Theater Festival which will stage an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet at the Cardiff Castle grounds, the Cardiff Outdoor Action Show where visitors can take part in sports activities and watch exhibitions, the Fringe@Cardiff Festival featuring presentations from Bute Theater and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
The Midsummer Dance Festival
The festival is at the beginning of August is based at the Angel Hotel and combines colorful processions with dance performances throughout the Bay area and the entire city.
The Brecon Jazz Festival
The festival is one of Europe’s largest jazz festivals and is held near Cardiff in mid-August. It attracts over 50,000 people to its concerts and events.
The Abergavenny Food Festival
The festival is held in this market town near Cardiff and is one of Wales’ largest food festivals. In addition to food events, there are exhibitions, workshops, and concerts.
A Halloween Festival
Held at St. Fagans at the end of October. It is free and has Halloween displays, costume parties, trick or treating, stories about ghosts, food, music, and other exciting events that are presented to the delight of the very large crowds.
Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland
A spectacular frozen attraction that can be enjoyed yearly from November to January. The main lawn outside the City Hall is made into the Admiral Open Air Ice Rink where anyone can put on their skates and join in and everyone else can watch. There is a ceremony when the Christmas lights are switched on by a local official or celebrity to mark the start of “The Christmas City’s” festivities. There are also Winter Fairs and fabulous shopping in a magnificent seasonal atmosphere filled with holiday cheer.
Be sure to add the annual festivals and events in Cardiff when you make your holiday plans so that you can join the large and happy crowds of visitors and locals who take part in the Welsh love of merry partying in this friendliest place in South Wales.
One of the most beautiful places in Cardiff is the green site in the centre of the city known as Bute Park. This area used to be a part of the castle grounds and today it has been designed to be a charming place inside the city. The park extends towards the northern part of the main shopping street in the city, Queen Street. The beautiful garden combines with the Llandaff Fields in the northwest area and together they form a unique place highlighting the Taff River. The people who live on this part of the city bear the nickname of Taffy after the river that crosses this region.
There are a few more parks in Cardiff, such as Roath Park in the north of the city. This amazing park was actually donated to the community by the third Marquess of Bute in 1887. One of the most popular tourist attractions in this park is the boating lake. Another very colorful park in Cardiff is Victoria Park, which was the city’s first official park.
Music and nightlife
Cardiff has proven to be one of the most popular places in the UK as far as the wide range of music is concerned. Some of the most visited and appreciated places in Cardiff include the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Welsh National Opera. Many of the leading acts across the country have emerged here. Also, as far as modern music is concerned, many Welsh bands have had their debut on one of Cardiff’s stages, before becoming well known nationally and even internationally.
Cardiff is also very popular for its strong nightlife, being the host of a numerous variety of nightclubs, bars, pubs and clubs. Most of these places can be found in the city centre and in Cardiff Bay, which has lately developed quite an impressive night scene. St. Mary Street is also one of the most populated places in Cardiff during the night time. The best time here is during good weather when the terraces are open and the street seems to have a life of its own.
As you would expect in Wales, the Cardiff Blues are a rugby union team who play at the Cardiff Arms Park stadium. Football isn’t ignored either, so you could choose to watch the successful Cardiff City F.C. Cricket fans will migrate towards the Sophia Gardens ground, close to the centre of the city to watch a test match and maybe even part of the Ashes. The Millennium Stadium can cope with up to 75,000 spectators and hosts both rugby and football matches on a regular basis. Speedway fans aren’t neglected either: they have their own speedway stadium so they can watch the thrills and spills of this sport.
Choose from the three main shopping arcades: St David’s Centre, Capitol Centre and Queen’s Arcade. These are host to hundreds of shops and a number of different department stores. If you prefer more traditional shopping, you will find yourself at home wandering around Cardiff’s numerous Victorian shopping centres, where you can admire the architecture as well as the goods on sale. Take time to visit Howells, the oldest and largest department store in Wales. Cardiff is also home to Spillers Records, which is reckoned to be the oldest record shop in the world.
Enjoy the flurry of festival fun this summer in Cardiff!
Visit information about festivals section to explore a full list of festivals happening around the world yearly!